Beginner questions

I forgot to send you this link in case other members of the family want to join the fun :slight_smile:
Fisher-Price Smart Cycle Trainer In-Depth Review | DC Rainmaker

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OMG you just made my day! :open_mouth::heart_eyes::pray:

Hi newbie looking for some help.

  • Are you running the 30 day trial or are you a subscriber?
    • trial
  • What equipment do you have for training indoors and outdoors? (meter type, trainer type, bike type, bike computer or phone)
    • indoor: wahoo kickr core smart trainer. desktop PC and phone
    • outdoor: heart rate montior, speed and caedance sensor, garmin 520 plus
  • Are you young (20-30s), older (60+), or in the middle? :slight_smile: (no need for exact age)
    • early 30’s
  • How experienced are you with training by power? (newbie or X years using another platform)
    • 4 months
  • Are you a recreational rider or competitive racer?
    • recreational rider
  • What are your goals? (example, special event in 3 months or best fitness for riding this summer)
    • best fitness for riding this summer in my group’s front A group
  • How many weeks or months of recent power data have you loaded into Xert?
    • three month of TrainerRoad data
  • What is your current star status? (example, 2 stars)
    • 1 star
  • What Athlete type did you select? (determines focus duration target)
    • GC Specialist
  • Which Improvement Rate (IR) did you select? (hours/week training load)
    • Slow
  • What TED (target event date) did you enter? (determines what phase are you in)
    • Nothing

Questions:
I am a new user coming from TR, and really struggling with understanding this new system. I am a recreational rider with no set event date, but I want some good workouts during the week to keep up my fitness. I’m not sure if I should pick Century Rider or GC Specialist - not sure how this changes things. Without a target date, it says i’m on Day of Event, and not sure if that is right. Should I just set something out in the future anyway? Can I still use this without a target date?

Next, I am confused by the Threshold Power calculation. I let it import my data from strava for three months. My last Ramp FTP Test was 268W, but Xert is calculating on 235W. was my FTP too high before? This seems so far off from what I was expecting. I want to export workouts to Zwift, so seems like getting this right is important.

I took last two week off, and it’s just suggesting Endurance rides - is that normal?

I tried to play around with the Improvement Rate, and on a lot of settings, my targets are going down - not up??? Also, I only have 3 hour to train and all the times seem longer than that.

Really unsure on how to proceed with getting this setup right or understanding how it works for someone like me.

TP and FTP may be close or apart since they are not derived the same way.
TR relies on a RAMP test to determine an FTP value which is a rough estimate of hour power based on their fixed % formula at RAMP failure point. When I say rough I don’t mean it’s a bad thing just a one dimensional test to determine what you can likely do for 40-70 minutes.
Xert relies on monitoring your performance while fatigued (along with a sprint now and then) to determine a fitness signature across three dimensions (PP = peak power, HIE = high intensity energy, TP = threshold power).

Xert is looking for BT (breakthrough) events to establish your signature but unlike TR the signature analysis is continuous after every activity or lapse in training. There is no need for a periodic RAMP test but Xert will warn you if you signature is getting stale (no BT events noted in 3 weeks; time to try for one to validate your signature).
The main purpose for both methods is to determine your current fitness so prescribed workouts have their intended effects. Of course they also measure your improvements over time. With Xert you can also monitor your HIE along with LTP as fitness markers.
You can find an example of a BT (breakthrough) workout by searching the workout library for “breakthrough”. You don’t necessarily need to perform this workout if your signature is valid based on the historical data analysis, but you can perform a BT workout any time if you want to check. They are nowhere near as intense as a RAMP test but they will test you. :wink: Suggest you do them in slope mode using gears/cadence to hit targets then stand up and spin for the sprint (5-7 secs minimum).

The trial includes a subset of workouts from Xert’s workout library so you can get an idea what Xert is like. Unlike %FTP block workouts common in TR many Xert workouts are SMART based intervals (discussed in other posts). In short the intervals can have specific power targets based on your current signature with dynamic interval duration or dynamic power during the interval. Mode may also change automatically (example, ERG to Slope). You can export workouts to Zwift but they will lose any SMART functions and revert to FTP blocks. There is also no need to do this (see Zwift article referenced below).

Another thing you will notice (and a welcome relief from TR cookie-cutter plans) is that many curated workouts in the library taper down based on difficulty and fatigue setting in. You aren’t having to put your legs through a meat grinder because the final sets (after half-way or two-thirds in) lower in intensity, duration, RIB (rest in between), or some combo. As a result you can finish most if not all prescribed workouts.

There is no need to set a goal based TED (target event date) but if you set one 120 days from now the system will start you in Base phase where workouts are endurance (low intensity) unless you purposely jump off list (which you are allowed to do).
As you move from Base to Build to Peak the intensity and training load increases. The full phased cycle is 120 days (45 Base + 45 Build + 30 Peak).

Since you only have 3 hours per week to work with you can leave IR (improvement rate) at Slow for as long as you want. If you do enter a mid-summer target date the phase progress bar will show pre-Base which isn’t phased progression (yet). Instead you’ll be recommended a variety of workouts around your current focus duration (GC Specialist). You can always skip around to try other types of workouts (Time Trialist for example) by using Filter to right of Recommended Workouts. You can also use Filter to list only those workouts that fit your duration requirement. For example, one hour.
Since you are at one star status you’ll want to pick workouts in that range (1 to 1-1/2 diamonds). The higher the stars the more variety and the more intensity. If you jump too far up the workouts will be difficult to finish.

I don’t know how many workouts are included in the trial but an easy way to view them all is select Training, Workouts, Show 100, sort by ratings or perhaps duration. If you click on the chart image or title you can view details in Workout Designer. If you click on any other column entry the workout becomes your selected workout under Recommended Workouts (unless you decide to change it later). You can also quickly create your own workouts using a library workout as a template, such as extend a 30 minute workout to 60 minutes with more intervals, but that is a topic for another day. :wink: Any custom workouts show up under your Personal Folder.

If you establish a pattern of when you ride such as Tue, Fri, and Sat, XATA (Xert Adaptive Training Advisor) will recommend similar activity the following week. Or you can randomly ride throughout the week to get your hours in.

I suggest you Enable Advanced Charts under Account Settings, Personal Info if not already enabled. Click Save and your activity charts will now be color coded similar to workout previews. This gives you an easy way to judge their intensity such as blue/aqua for low intensity intervals (where you will spend most of Base or your self-appointed easy rides). Yellow is TP, orange is higher than TP, and red is, well you get the idea. :slight_smile:

Since Xert is a hybrid polarized system you will notice many of the rides are much easier compared to TR’s sweet spot focus. This is actually a good thing you will appreciate more so two months from now as your fitness improves magically. :slight_smile: For me (also a TR convert) the difference was night and day.

BTW I am also a recreational rider who likes to get fit for long rides in the summer. I started in late November with a phased progression and target date of April 4. That means I have time to start another phased progression (if I want) in May with a TED in Aug or Sept. Also note if you do decide to set a goal date you can also change it at anytime to extend a phase or move back to float mode (pre-Base or post-Event) where the workouts are of a wider variety.

As @idefix mentions there are new Xert Academy Sessions under the Training menu at XO (Xert Online). You can learn about Xert while riding a workout with a Xert instructor and other Xert users. Sessions aren’t just for learning or group rides. You can create you own session and link to a Youtube video to watch during your favorite workout.

Hope this gets you started on your journey with Xert. It may appear daunting at first, but soon things will fall into place. The aha moments are coming.

Reference:
Program Phases – Xert (baronbiosys.com)
The Ultimate Guide to Training with Xert and Zwift – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

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Thank you so much for the detailed response! I looked for breakthrough, but the fitness ones need a subscription. I’ll play around with the free a bit more and see if my manual change of TP at 247 works out. I did get burnt out during TR sweet spot, but I am also losing weight. Probably sticking to endurance is better anyway!

Ramp rate and intensity are what killed us on TR plans because no cookie-cutter plan knows how well you are responding. Instead it simply adds more TL (training load) as the weeks go by. With TR plans especially, week #x becomes crash and burn time. Not a good thing. :frowning:
With Xert you can dial things up or down with two tools. IR (improvement rate) and FF (freshness feedback) slider.

The FF slider can be used any day (or over a period of days) that your predicted freshness doesn’t match. For example if XATA says your status is tired but you feel fine before the next workout, click Goals and drag the slider to the right (fresher) and click Update. The recommended workout list will change.
XATA tracks two periods for freshness. Current freshness is at the top indicated by the color of your status stars. 24 hours from now is the small triangle pointer next to the pacer needle. This is more a factor when training day after day assuming you plan to workout around the same time tomorrow. With rest days in between you will likely always be fresh before the next workout.

You are not trying to erase any daily deficit shown in XATA. Just keep the needle pointing up to stay within the recommended guidelines. 11am-1pm is ideal but the needle can waver. For example, drop to the left if you take multiple days off in a row.
There is no need to make up any missed days or worry about carrying a deficit forward. It is absorbed within the rolling seven day period XATA operates on.

IR can be adjusted anytime you want to up your weekly hours and intensity or dial them down.
Normally those competing will dial things up during the season to reach peak fitness. I started with Slow at the end of November and am now at Moderate-2 because I have the time. At some point the hours may crowd my schedule (other things in life) or the intensity may be higher than I want to go. With Xert you are in control (self-coaching).
So pick an IR that you are comfortable with but if you find yourself with more time to ride during some weeks you can increase your IR for that week. This also ensures the pacer needle reflects what you capable of doing.
Note to others – Some gung-ho newbies may be tempted to throw things into high gear (Aggressive or Extreme) or try to erase the deficit daily or push the needle all the way to the right. I understand the temptation (especially when fueled by youthful enthusiasm) but that isn’t the smart way to train. :wink:

Unlike a cookie-cutter plan there is no fixed workout you must do on any particular date. You are always able to select a different workout or a different day to do one. You can pick from any of the recommended top four or click Load More to view all twenty (greater variety), or use Filter to find something you prefer or a workout the looks interesting to try.

Since you don’t have a power meter on your bike you can enable HRDM (heart rate derived metrics) under Account Settings, Profile. This feature estimates your XSS (Xert Strain Score) and focus (power duration) from rides based on your HR patterns compared to power that you’ve established riding your trainer. The purpose is to let XATA know if you are meeting TL (training load) recommendations when activities occur without power data.

Reference:
Freshness Feedback – Xert (baronbiosys.com)
Improvement Rate – Xert (baronbiosys.com)
XSS – Xert (baronbiosys.com)
Focus Duration – Xert (baronbiosys.com)
Heart Rate Derived Metrics – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

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Hi!
Im Back again. Now with subscibtion.
Fighting through all the garmin apps.
Which one are important?m

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For doing indoor workouts there is really only one Garmin App (Xert Workout Player), all the others are just data fields for getting some Xert related information outdoors. But that’s always more of a compromise because of not perfectly flat bike paths and traffic.

I would start with the Xert App on an Edge or maybe even better with the new Xert EBC on Android indoors. And do a Breakthrough workout of your choice as soon as you feel fresh to make sure your signature is correct to start with.

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Thanks.
I have already installed it. But i was not Sure about all the other apps in the garmin “store”.
I did crazy train and take me to the church.
Last one is a bit boring😂

Most of the endurance workouts are supposed to be boring especially to someone living in the alps. :slight_smile:

Outdoors you may find some of the Xert data fields useful when free riding –
Connect IQ Store | Free Watch Faces and Apps | Garmin

Since you are in the mountains it will be difficult to use the Xert Workout Player on the Garmin to ride a workout outdoors.
Xert Data Fields on my Garmin - Support - Xert Community Forum (xertonline.com)

As @idefix mentions riding indoors you’ll find the Xert phone apps (iOS or Android EBC) are more robust than what’s possible to do within the confines of the Garmin Connect IQ environment.
Sessions can only be run on a phone app, but there are many more benefits such as workout selection, chart view, easy access to mode and % changes, rainbow gauge, etc.

Reference:
Using the Xert Workout Player for Garmin Connect IQ – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

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Ohh jeh, das ist das drei Stunden Ausdauer Training, oder? So hart bin ich nicht. Mir reichen üblicherweie eineinhalb Stunden aufm Trainer völlig :wink:

Ja, das ist in Tirol richtig ein Problem. Grundlagenausdauer über mehrere Stunden ist fast nicht möglich. Überall geht’s nur bergauf🙈

No, oudoors they would not be boring. There is just no flat area for a ride😩

Here’s the first in a series of YT training videos from Xert – Xert Academy Videos - YouTube

Speaking of YT here’s an overview of Xert Sessions from Tariq at SmartBikeTrainers.com
First Look: Xert Indoor Cycling Group Sessions - YouTube

I run the Session Player.on XO for all my indoor workouts or join a group session whenever the workout or content interests me.

Hello,

I need some suggestions as my TP just keeps dropping and I want to increase it. I have done two separate BT and both times I have increase PP but lower TP. What would you suggest I do to increase my power. I follow all of my current training recommendations but things keep falling.

Thank you!

  1. Are you running the 30 day trial or are you a subscriber?
    I subscribed 3 weeks ago

  2. What equipment do you have for training indoors and outdoors? Include meter type, trainer type, bike type, bike computer (if you have one), and phone (Android or iOS).
    I have a Wahoo Kicker V5 and my bike is a Cervélo S3. I run the IOS app on my phone with all Wahoo sensors.

  3. Are you young (20-30s), older (60+), or in the middle? :slight_smile: (no need for exact age)
    I use to be young :joy:. I am currently 37.

  4. How experienced are you with training by power? (newbie or X years using another platform).
    **I been training with power off and on for 2 years. **

  5. Are you a recreational rider or competitive racer?
    I am your average recreational rider. I don’t race and I only do a few group rides. (family obligations)

  6. What are your goals? (example, special event in 3 months or best fitness for riding this summer)
    My goals are to be as fast as I can be to smash some KOMs in my area. I also have two small kids that keep me active. My long term goal would be to have about 3 stars here and a TP of 300. I have to figure out how to achieve that because this app is the only thing I use until the summer (then a lot of outdoor rides)

  7. How many weeks or months of recent power data have you loaded into Xert?
    I took a 7 month break from cycling because I had ankle reconstruction surgery. When I was younger I got hit by a car and now I am on my 5th surgery. When life gives you lemons you make lemonade :blush:. So basically I started over with my data.

  8. What is your current star status? (example, 2 stars)
    About 2 stars. My goal is 3 or more stars.

  9. What Athlete type did you select? (determines focus duration target)
    I selected GC specialist because I thought that was a good all around profile. When I used to be apart of Sufferfest it told me my type was Pursuiter.

  10. Which Improvement Rate (IR) did you select? (hours/week training load & ramp rate)
    I picked slow as I am just getting back on the bike. I have 5-7ish hours a week to train.

  11. What TED (target event date) did you enter? (determines what phase are you in)
    I don’t have any target events as I am not a competitive cyclist. I just want to be fast for summer so I can KOM hunt.

I appreciate all your help!

I’m not an expert, but I usually do sprint time trialist (Slow) until daylight savings time change. Then switch to Breakaway Specialist or Rouelor (Moderate) with a target event in mind. Which is usually a fondo or bike trip of choice.

I do some workouts verbatim and sometimes sprinkle in Zwift or group rides for sanity. Xert is flexible for those type of things. Good luck.

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Hello,

  1. Are you running the 30 day trial or are you a subscriber?
    Trial, will subscribe if Ill find the platform useful for my needs
  2. What equipment do you have for training indoors and outdoors? Include meter type, trainer type, bike type, bike computer (if you have one), and phone (Android or iOS).
    Kickr, p2m, wahoo bolt v2, android, road bike
  3. Are you young (20-30s), older (60+), or in the middle? :slight_smile: (no need for exact age)
    30-40
  4. How experienced are you with training by power? (newbie or X years using another platform)
    1-2 years riding with PM and training to power but not with a plan, mainly self-coaching
  5. Are you a recreational rider or competitive racer?
    Recreational
  6. What are your goals? (example, special event in 3 months or best fitness for riding this summer)
    Fit, fast, long endurance
  7. How many weeks or months of recent power data have you loaded into Xert?
    3 months (strava), I have more
  8. What is your current star status? (example, 2 stars)
    4.5 stars
  9. What Athlete type did you select? (determines focus duration target)
    Sprint TT, TT
  10. Which Improvement Rate (IR) did you select? (hours/week training load & ramp rate)
    Slow/maintenance
  11. What TED (target event date) did you enter? (determines what phase are you in)
    I didnt, continuous

More background:

I am new to the platform, or any other “training” platform, up until now I have “self-coached” myself based on some stuff I`ve found online.
I am not the training plan person, I enjoy riding my bikes, zwift events/races and group rides.

Question:
In the previous months I mainly did volume (lots) and averaged 12hrs/week of riding (mostly z2-z3) and Xert classified me with 4.5 and recommends me to do 13+ hrs / week.
Now this is wicked, I dont want to do 13hrs + a week, yes I did it until now but that is not the reason I am trying to do training plans…
Is there a way I could somehow to “fool” the system and XATT so that I will have gains but with less hours on the bike?
Am I close to my potential and that basically means that I have to suck it and If I want to “improve” I have to ride more (as recommended by the platform) /

Xert is the ideal platform for those who like to self-coach and keep things flexible.
Unique to Xert is the ability to start at whatever level you are at and proceed from there.
Canned plans and calendar focused platforms assume otherwise.

What you can do is reduce IR (improvement rate) until hours decline to a desired level. For example, “reset” your weekly TL (training load) commitment by switching to Off-season, drop your hours, and wait for XATA’s 7 day rolling cycle to kick in. In the meantime, ignore any suggestions based on what you did last week and establish a new pattern. Then resume at the level you are comfortable with whether that’s static (Maintenance IR) or a progression (Slow ramp rate or higher). With Xert you can ramp up and down over time to accommodate a changing schedule.
Even if your hours remain static you can manipulate TL (training load) through workout/activity management. IE, decide which days to ride short and hard (high intensity) versus long and easy (low intensity endurance) or in between including what Xert calls “hard” endurance.

While TL is the controlling factor for progressive overload you can manipulate how you spend your hours and continue to improve. Perhaps not as dramatically as a phased progression, but fitter (and faster) nonetheless even when TP levels out.

I suggest changing Athlete Type to GC Specialist for a greater variety of workouts in Continuous mode. Selecting a type in TT quadrant will recommend endurance level workouts. My guess is you will benefit from some higher intensity folded into your training especially if you aren’t doing that now. At 4.5 stars level you will likely see a lot of blue form (fresh) which means you can be as selective as you want and jump around more to experiment.

Welcome aboard. :slight_smile:

Hello all,
I have a question about my high intensity energy.
It is set too high after importing al my (true) files. It sais my 5 min power should be 400 watt. This isnt right because my best even power is 350w. Same with my 2 min power.
Ot means that I have to do workouts that I cant handle.
I tried updating my powercurve. It works for one day. After uploading a new file, the curve jumps back to unrealistic watts for me.
Max power is 1450
True 5min power is 350
True 20min power is 305

Hope someone can help me.
Rob

Hi @Robvdberghe ,

For questions about your personal data, it’s best to reach out to Xert support. Someone will be happy to help review your data and get things sorted out! Cheers!